Originally from Western Illinois. Father a union organizer, Mother a homemaker. Began writing poetry in grade school, enjoyed spelling, hated math. Voracious reader. Zero athletic skills, took forever to learn to ride bicycle. Attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, where I met my husband, a native of India. Married before graduation, worked for the telephone company while he graduated, then worked in office jobs until I returned to the U of I and graduated with a BA in the Teaching of Social Studies, minors in German and Philosophy, in 1968; taught high school social studies, active in politics in Illinois. Mother of 3 children, oldest son deceased. After moving to Pittsburgh area in 1976, attended Duquesne Law School, evening program, while working full time during the day as outside salesperson. Lucky to have had a supportive husband, now deceased. Began practicing law sharing office space with established Bethel Park lawyer, doing real estate closings. Found satisfaction in becoming a trial lawyer and have years of experience in divorce, support, custody, wills, and estate cases. Learned that it is necessary to educate clients on the law and their options and help them to set goals and work with them to achieve them. Communication is key; have learned how to use modern technological tools to assist in client-centered approach to practicing law.
JD, Duquesne University School of Law-Evening Program , 1982
B.A. in Teaching of Social Studies, University of Illinois, 1968
Graduated Magna Cum Laude with Highest Distinction in History
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
U. S. Federal Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, 1982
Third Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals, 1985
Federal Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals 2008
Professional & Bar Association Memberships
Allegheny County Bar Association – Member of the Family Law Section
Washington County Bar Association – Member of the Family Law Section
Pennsylvania Bar Association – Member of the Family Law Section
American Bar Association – Member of the Family Law Section and Law Practice Management Section
Women’s Bar Association of Western PA – Founding member
Featured Cases and Matters
Hayward v. Hayward, 868 A.2d 378 (Pa. Super. 2005).
Hayward v. Office of Personnel Management, 2008-3308 (Fed. Cir 2008).
“Hayward v. OPM- Qualifying Orders on Civil Service Retirement System Pensions,” Pennsylvania Family Lawyer, Volume 31, Issue 4, 2009
Boback v. Ross, 126 A.3d 1281 (PA 2016); Right of a wrongly garnished defendant to reimbursement of attorney fees and expenses for defending wrongful garnishment action.
Author of article in PA Family Lawyer regarding Domestic Relations Orders on Civil Service Pensions, 2009
Barbara J. Shah, Show some respect; otherwise, you’re just making things difficult for yourself, Vol. 1 Lawyers Journal No. 1
Barbara J. Shah, Don’t invite your client to micromanage; be the boss, Vol. 18 Lawyers Journal No. 18
Active Blog writer on Shah Law Group PC website on various topics.
Non-Legal Activities and Interests
Experienced traveler, both foreign and domestic
Active in local politics
Contract bridge player